Almost exactly one year ago Rangers left-hander Michael Kirkman completed treatment for skin cancer, but the team announced yesterday that he’s been diagnosed with a recurrence of cutaneous lymphoma on his right triceps following a recent screening.
Chris Toman of MLB.com reports that Kirkman will undergo radiation treatment and has been placed on the disabled list, with the hope that he’ll be able to continue throwing and potentially rejoin the team in just a few weeks.
Kirkman, who’s been struggling on the mound and asked to take some time off after the diagnosis, said:
It’s just kind of one of those things. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise. I can take a step back, take a mental break and work some bugs out.
That’s a pretty amazing attitude to have in the face of such adversity.
Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.
Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.
Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.